Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Open Source India Week

LinuxAsia Grows Bigger Becomes Open Source India Week

As India opens up to open source more rapidly than ever, the annual event brings together the who's who of the open source world on one stage, once again.

LinuxAsia was India's biggest Linux & Open Source event. LinuxAsia grows bigger, becomes Open Source India Week. International luminaries, senior industry professionals, technology analysts, enthusiasts, media-persons, students, and others from the Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) community will converge at this week-long event with the goal to make India a super-power in the field of open source.

Open Source India Week

Open Source India Week (OSIW) is essentially a collection of FOSS-related events that will be conducted across India within the 3rd week of February 2008.

For the last four years, LinuxAsia[1] was India's biggest Linux & Open Source event. This year it has grown even bigger. And, has adopted a new name--Open Source India Week 2008 (OSIW). OSIW will be held across three cities – New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore – from February 11-15, 2008. International luminaries, senior Industry professionals, technology analysts, enthusiasts, media-persons, students and others from the Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) community will converge at this week-long event with the goal to make India a super-power in the field of open source.

Seventeen different events are being held as part of OSIW, across the three cities. Nine goals, displayed on the home page of OSIW (www.osiweek.com)[2] act as guidelines for these events. One of the goals marks the growing influence on Open Source on the human society in general, which states—to demonstrate open source solutions for disabled individuals and to lay a road-map for faster development in the future. Thus, there's a dedicated seminar on the topic 'FOSS technologies and applications for people with disabilities.' This seminar is to be held at the Pragati Maidan, Hall #5, on the 15th of February 2008.

The OSIW is being organized by the Forum for Open Source Innovation in India (FOSII)[3] The organizers believe that software development for mobile devices is another avenue that presents a great opportunity for India to tap, and open source solutions can play a significant role in reducing the cost of development, and in innovating faster. “Making a software work in different local languages (localisation) is much easier when using open source technology, since the source code is available to you, and you are free to modify it, as per your requirements”, explains Rahul Chopra, Editor, LINUX For You, a member of the FOSII panel.

The Conference Keynote sessions will be addressed by luminaries that include Klaus and Adriane Knopper, co-developers of Knoppix; Brian Behlendorf, Founder-CollabNet and Director of Mozilla Foundation; Dr. Anthony Wasserman, Executive Director of the Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Open Source Investigation (COSI), Louis Su├írez-Potts of OpenOffice.org. Indian speakers and industry leaders include Nandkumar Pradhan, CEO of Red Hat India; Sandeep Menon, Head of Novell; Vikas Kanungo, Chairman - The Society for Promotion of e-Governance, India; and C Umashankar, MD, ELCOT. One of the star speakers is David Axmark, who is a co-founder of MySQL, a firm that was recently bought by Sun Microsystems for US $ 1 billion.

Speaking of the Conference, Mukul Mahajan, member, FOSII (CEO, Tetra Information Services Pvt. Ltd.) , said, “The LinuxAsia series being held for the last four years has been a great success, with evangelists, enthusiasts, industry and students alike. We have had over 5000 IT professionals and over 9000 IT students participate in our events. This year we decided to expand the spread of the event by making it the Open Source India Week and also taking it across more locations. This is an attempt to broad-base participation, provide a platform of exchange for all stakeholders in the open source community, and strongly encourage applications that benefit mankind in some way. That is why, the special session this year is on solutions for the disabled.”

The five-day, three-city mega conference and expo will see several parallel activities. Among these are the CTO Summit to be held at Bangalore on February 12, at which participants from leading companies will deliberate how they can derive value from Open Source strategies and actually build business around it, drawing from experience of such giants as MySQL, Red Hat, Novell and Indian giants like Satyam and TCS. The CXO Summit to be held at Mumbai on February 13 and at New Delhi on February 15, will see a gathering of the top IT decision makers from government, enterprise, academic segment and SMEs who will share best practices relating to Linux and Open Source.

With the Open Source conference and expo having expanded to three cities, the organisers have announced 500 free registrations for the 'Visitor Pass'. As a community initiative that would encourage students and enthusiasts to benefit in big numbers, the Free Registration offer will entitle registrants to attend the Keynote sessions, and access to the expo area. Those wanting to avail of this offer can go to www.osiweek.com and register immediately.

Goals for OSIW 2008

1) Foster spirit of innovation and contribution amongst techies The Keynotes, the TechZone, and FOSS India Awards are going to be the key drivers in this direction.

2) Update software developers with the latest trends, technologies and best practices from the open source world The TechZone will have dedicated tracks for software developers. Plus, the Keynotes and focused workshops will certainly help further this goal.

3) Equip IT implementers with latest open source solutions and best practices The TechZone will have dedicated tracks for IT Implementers (aka IT Pros) too. Plus, focused workshops are being planned to achieve this goal.

4) Accelerate adoption of open source software amongst SMEs and Enterprise customers The CXOSummit, a black-tie event introduced last year, was successful in achieving this goal. This year, along with Delhi, the CXOSummit will be held at Mumbai too.

5) Motivate IT firms (and entrepreneurs) to adopt open source business models The CTOSummit, being held at India's Silicon valley--Bangalore, will be the key driver for this goal.

6) Enable IT firms to reduce their costs, and improve their quality, by leveraging open source tools and technologies Again, the CTOSummit being held at Bangalore will drive this initiative too.

7) Accelerate development of Linux & open source software for Mobile Devices A technical seminar at B'lore will highlight the latest developments that promise to make FOSS a key enabler for developing mobile devices, and their software.

8) Promote ‘technopreneurship’ based on FOSS values amongst the young techies A half-day seminar by Canaan Partners at B'lore will apprise you of what it takes to be a technopreneur, the key parameters that VCs look for in startups, and how the scenario changes for FOSS firms.

9) Highlight IT Tools for the disabled A half-day seminar at Delhi will showcase IT tools that address the challenges of disability and accessibility, and lay the roadmap for future development.

See also


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